Back in 2012 it was reported that rubber blocks were washing up in the UK and northern Europe with the word Tjipetir engraved on it. Titanic was suggested as the source but Tracey Williams of Newquay, Cornwall possibly has determined the source BBC News is reporting. These rubber blocks were gutta-percha from an Indonesian rubber plantation named Tjipetir and were cargo on Titanic. But Williams thinks after charting where the blocks have been found and learning information from two sources that it is from the wreck of a Japanese cargo ship sunk in World War 1. Specifically the Miyazaki Maru which was sunk 150 miles west of the Isles of Scilly.
She learned that during the salvage large amounts of gutta-percha and rubber bales were released from the ship’s hold. And of course they are picked up by the current and tossed around in the ocean until it lands on a beach somewhere. It turns out that the Miyazaki Maru was sunk by the same U-Boat captain who sank the Lusitania in 1915–Walther Schwieger who was one of Germany’s top U-Boat captains during the war. He died in 1917 when his U-Boat struck a British mine while being chased by HMS Stonecrop.
It is speculated that these rubber blocks may be washing up on UK and northern Europe beaches for years to come. It is possible there is more than one source of these blocks as many ships carrying them were sunk during the war. And there still is the possibility some might be from Titanic.
1. A few months ago it was reported that rubber blocks bearing the name “Tjipetir’” had been found on beaches in the UK. Tjipetir is the name of an early 20th century Indonesian rubber plantation. Since rubber from this plantation was cargo on Titanic, it was speculated that it might be from the wreck. Others think it unlikely and possibly from other shipwrecks. While that mystery continues, the New Post Leader has a story about a young boy who found such a block recently at the beach. Eight year old Matthew Sayer found the mysterious rubber block and brought it home. His father did an Internet search and came up with the information about the rubber plantation. Apparently a group has been formed on the matter, the Tjipetir Mystery group. I will try to find out more about this group.
2. Stan Fraser started collecting nautical items for his home. This led to collecting a lot of items over the years and led him to build an 88ft-long model of Titanic built from “parts of a caravan, portholes he picked up at a scrap yard and items such as creels, nets and buoys”, reports the Herald Scotland. His Titanic museum was known locally but much got wider notice in TripAdvisor when people began posting about it. So now Fraser’s museum is a place to visit if your near Inverness in Scotland. And from the photos, worth a visit.
3. Amy’s Baking Company Update
There are rumors that Crazy Amy and Samy the Hammer have done a pilot for a reality show. Whether true or not, it makes one laugh. It tells how desperate they are to get publicity. Going the reality show route, they hope, will clean up their image. I doubt it would work considering the tons of bad press they have. And there is something interesting that popped up. Radar Online got a contract that Amy’s Baking Company now requires its employees to use. You can read it here. Now many employers do have contracts or codes of conduct they want employees to sign. And some places require you to not reveal proprietary information to another employer when you leave. Amy’s contract requires that if you leave, whether voluntary or not, you cannot work for a competitor within a 50 mile radius of ABC for one year without their permission. Now it is common in some industries, like broadcasting, that you cannot jump ship to another station until the contract term is complete. It seems unusual to put such a burden on common restaurant servers. That might be reasonable for head chefs so they do not compete against in another restaurant. Restaurant turnover is usually high and this contract might not pass muster if it gets before a judge if they get sued.
Oh and in case you are wondering, yes they now clearly say you give up any chance for tips. All tips belong to the house and you get paid $8.00 an hour. That still does not get them off the hook for what happened prior and it still may run into legal problems down the road.
4. While listening to a Giant’s game recently, Jon Miller noted of the darkening clouds in Denver and then a lightning strike nearby. Dave Fleming said it reminded him of a scene in The Natural(1984), a great baseball movie. The Natural is a baseball fable about a guy on his way to stardom that gets set back by being shot by a stalker, and returns to the game later in life. I will stop there as you ought to see the movie with Robert Redford. While some of the story is the same as the book, it has a very different ending. A much better one that elevates this movie into a great baseball movie. Other great baseball movies to consider: Field of Dreams (1989 ), For Love of the Game(1999), and The Rookie(2002).
There is a minor mystery afoot concerning four rubber tablets found on Newquay beaches. Each tablet contains the word Tjipetir on them. According to This is Cornwall, that is an Indonesian rubber plantation from the early 20th century. The particular natural rubber, gutta-percha, was cargo aboard Titanic. While some speculate the rubber could be from Titanic, others are not sure.
Jenny Wittamore, assistant curator at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth,points out there have been many ships that carried this cargo. And a shipwreck in the 1920’s, according to an investigator, could be the source of these rubber tablets.
There is no way to determine precisely what shipwreck the tablets came from. So the mystery continues.